«Rat’s Nest» is an animated short film about self-worth and self-acceptance. Taking place in a young woman’s subconsciousness, the film explores ways to visualize thoughts and emotions metaphorically through animation.
Frustrated with her own introversion, the protagonist Mia retreats further and further into her own mind. This is how viewers find themselves in her subconsciousness, trying to figure out what is going on inside her head. Mia’s world of emotions is visually depicted by a subway station and the commuters play crucial parts as well.
Mia has always been a quiet girl, rather introverted. Struggling with seeing her own self-worth, she tends to overthink everything she says and does. As if there was something inside her holding her back. This leads to her feeling frustrated and angry at herself, wishing desperately to get rid of these characteristics that seem to only narrow her down.
In „Rat’s Nest“, we meet her at a point in her life where she needs to learn to accept herself the way she is. And how this acceptance leads to confidence and strength. You don’t need to be extroverted to be self-confident and happy.
„There’s something holding me back. Crawling in my brain. Occupying every inch of it.“
With the character of the rats, Mia’s self-doubts and fears gain their own bodies. They live in the subway underground, the metaphorical equivalent to Mia’s subconsciousness, where they are currently fully in control. They can’t be killed, as they are part of the human nature. Not having found the strength to stand up to them yet, Mia succumbs.